President's Newsletter: October 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

By: Sally Gunz, FAUW President

This is the second newsletter/update for the academic year. It will be shorter than last time: mainly notices and updates. And yes, I do understand that the last one was not really a blog. Until we get our website updated, this was, however, a place of convenience for my lengthy epistle.

Important Dates/Events

2015 Hagey Lecture

Please mark November 17, Fed Hall, 8:00 pm in your calendar. This year’s speaker is Tom King, the outstanding author and recipient of the 2014 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. You will be receiving further notice of this. Make sure you attend and bring your family/friends. See the event website for more details.

FAUW Fall General Meeting

December 9, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, DC 1302. The two general meetings are our primary means of communicating directly with membership and receiving feedback.

Meet Your FAUW Board & Represenatives

Visit the FAUW webpage for regular opportunities to meet informally with FAUW Board members and share your views. We also encourage you to share any concerns you might have with your departmental representative on FAUW's Council of Representatives, which will meet next on November 6.

Updates on recent issues that have attracted FAUW attention

  1. Review of Student Course Evaluation Tools. Following the last Senate meeting, this is now moving to an evaluation, review stage that will take place during much of 2016. This is a major initiative proposing a university-wide format and approach to course evaluations, and it is critical before anyone votes on whether to implement change, that the instrument, the approach, the use to which it will be put, the technology, etc. all be sound.
  2. Lecturers’ Working Conditions. Please watch for a survey coming shortly. Survey responses will be used to inform FAUW’s contributions to the review of Policy 76 – Faculty Appointments, among other things.
  3. Taking Leaves. Shortly you will receive a joint statement from the university provost and FAUW president re the taking of leaves. This is designed to put to bed once and for all any notion that you should not take leaves because they might inconvenience your department. If you are entitled by law or policy to a leave you must ensure you take it. Your career is evaluated as if you did. Probationary faculty in particular, it is assumed you will take the pre-tenure sabbatical and you must do so.

Other Items of Interest

There are several conferences/workshops coming about which we have been advised. We pass this information on in case you are interested:

UW Fourth Annual Travel Survey for Staff and Faculty

Conducted in partnership with the Region of Waterloo’s TravelWise program, this survey [closed] helps to understand employee commuting patterns and shapes the design of programs that make it easier for staff and faculty to get to campus, including the discounted bus passes, carpool matching software, emergency ride home program, cycling facilities, CarShare, and more.

Workplace Stress Survey

This survey is being undertaken jointly by OCUFA, CAUT and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers in order to inform faculty association efforts to proactively enhance policies and procedures with employers around conditions and behaviours that foster harassment and increase workplace stress.

OCUFA 2016 conference “Confronting precarious academic work”

Registration is now open. The conference will take place February 11-12, 2016 in Toronto.

Call for papers: "Missing and marginalized: ending the erasure of women’s lives and experiences"

This conference will be hosted by UW in partnership with the Association of Commonwealth Universities from 14-16 June, 2016. A call for papers has been issued with submissions due  December 1, 2015.

As always, we encourage you to ask questions, give feedback, and always to participate in FAUW activities. There is more than enough work for everyone.

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